America’s Most (and Least) Charitable States

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The Most Charitable States

10. Kansas
> Charitable donation per taxpayer: $1,223
> Taxpayers who donate to charity: 24.3% (21st lowest)
> Average income per taxpayer: $52,147 (20th highest)
> Pct. of households earning $200,000 or more: 2.7% (25 highest)

The economic health of Kansas is average at best. The state has the 26th highest poverty rate in the U.S. and just the 20th highest income per taxpayer. Only 2.7% of the state’s households make more than $200,000 per year, which is the 25th highest amount. Despite all of this, state residents filed at least $1.6 billion in charitable donations — the 10th most per taxpayer. Five Kansas cities made it onto Convio’s list of the most charitable cities in the U.S., with Overland Park ranking 43rd.

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9. Wyoming
> Charitable donation per taxpayer: $1,224
> Taxpayers who donate to charity: 16.4% (4th lowest)
> Average income per taxpayer: $59,532 (9th highest)
> Pct. of households earning $200,000 or more: 2.5% (20th lowest)

Wyoming has among the lowest rates of taxpayers who report donating to charity. However, those who donate give enough to put the state among the top 10 most generous. The state’s average income is the ninth-highest in the country (an increase from 11th in 2004), while its poverty rate is among the lowest.

8. Oklahoma
> Charitable donation per taxpayer: $1,230
> Taxpayers who donate to charity: 21.2% (13th lowest)
> Average income per taxpayer: $48,793 (18th lowest)
> Pct. of households earning $200,000 or more: 2.2% (12th lowest)

More than 16% of Oklahoma residents live in poverty, the 15th highest rate in the country. Just 2.2% of Oklahoma households earn $200,000 or more, and the average income per taxpayer is the 18th lowest in the country. Between 2004 and 2009, income per taxpayer in the state improved markedly, as did the amount taxpayers donated. In 2009, residents filed nearly $2 billion in charity, an average of $1,230 per taxpayer.

7. Alabama
> Charitable donation per taxpayer: $1,335
> Taxpayers who donate to charity: 25.0% (25th lowest)
> Average income per taxpayer: $46,662 (9th lowest)
> Pct. of households earning $200,000 or more: 2.1% (11th lowest)

Alabama is one of the nation’s poorer states by a number of metrics. The average income per taxpayer is the ninth lowest in the country, and the percentage of people living in poverty is the sixth highest. Despite this, residents of the state are very generous, and charitable donations per taxpayer are the seventh highest in the country.

6. Virginia
> Charitable donation per taxpayer: $1,337
> Taxpayers who donate to charity: 33.1% (5th highest)
> Average income per taxpayer: $63,576 (6th highest)
> Pct. of households earning $200,000 or more: 6.3% (5th highest)

Virginia is a relatively wealthy state, with residents who are willing to give. It has a very low poverty rate of 10.5% and a very high average income per taxpayer of $63,576. An impressive 33.1% of taxpayers donate to charity — the fifth-greatest percentage in the country — and the average donation is the sixth highest. According to Convio’s list of the most generous cities based on online donations in 2010 per capita, four cities in the state made the top 100. Alexandria and Arlington were ranked first and third, respectively.